facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Study: Deforestation reduces rainfall

Sept. 5, 2012 at 7:01 PM   |   Comments

LEEDS, England, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Deforestation can reduce rainfall with potentially devastating impacts on people living in and near the Amazon and Congo forests, researchers say.

Scientists in Britain say for the majority of Earth's tropical land surface, air passing over extensive forests produces at least twice as much rain as air passing over little vegetation and in some cases forests can increase rainfall thousands of miles away.

"We were surprised to find that this effect occurs strongly across more than half of the tropics," led researcher Dominick Spracklen from the University of Leeds said.

"We found that the Amazon and Congo forests maintain rainfall over the periphery of the forest basins -- regions where large numbers of people live and rely on rainfall for their livelihoods."

Analyzing predictions of future deforestation, the researchers estimated destruction of tropical forests would reduce rain across the Amazon basin by up to a fifth in the dry season by 2050.

"Our study implies that deforestation of the Amazon and Congo forests could have catastrophic consequences for the people living thousands of kilometers away in surrounding countries," Spracklen said.

The findings show the importance of initiatives to protect tropical forests, he said.

The study has been published in the journal Nature.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data
2
Study: Fish just wanna have fun Study: Fish just wanna have fun
3
Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open Wisconsin shuts down three wolf hunting zones, two remain open
4
Deforestation in the Amazon has increased 190 percent, satellites show Deforestation in the Amazon has increased 190 percent, satellites show
5
An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again An ancient tsunami wrecked Hawaii; it could happen again
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback